PBPath Journal Watch Articles

Wellcome to the PBPath Journal Watch!

This bi-monthly journal watch features exciting recently published pancreas and biliary pathology articles that will provide up to date medical knowledge in our field. These articles will be showcased in several convenient categories, including surgical pathology, cytopathology, and molecular pathology among others. The articles in each category are in no particular order.

Previous months’ issues may be found in our archive.

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Surgical Pathology


Morphology, Diagnostics, IHC

Morphology, Diagnostics, IHC

- Pancreatic cancer arising in the remnant pancreas is not always a relapse of the preceding primary

Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2018 Nov;():

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30467323

This study aimed to understand the biology of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma that arises in the remnant pancreas after surgical resection of a primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, using integrated histological and molecular analysis. Patients who underwent a completion pancreatectomy for local recurrence following resection of a primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were studied with histological analysis and next-generation sequencing of the primary and the recurrent cancer. Of six patients that met the inclusion criteria, three cases were classified as “true” recurrences, i.e., the primary and the cancer in the remnant pancreas shared both morphological features and molecular alterations. Two cases were identified as having independent cancers that exhibited different histological and molecular profiles. In the remaining case, the relationship could not be determined. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma that arises in the remnant pancreas can be either a second primary or a “true” relapse of the preceding primary. The differentiation of second primaries from local recurrences may have important implications for patient management.

- Epidermoid cyst in intrapancreatic accessory spleen: A systematic review

Pancreatology : official journal of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) … [et al.] 2018 Oct;():

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30366677

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Due to its rarity, epidermoid cyst in intrapancreatic accessory spleen (ECIPAS) is still a diagnostic dilemma during clinical practice. The aim of this review was to summarize the epidemiologic features and management of ECIPAS. METHODS: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for English articles reporting on ECIPAS up to April 30th, 2018 following the methodology suggested by the PRISMA guidelines. Categorical variables were reported as frequency and percentage. Continuous variables were reported as median (range). RESULTS: A total of 56 patients from 47 full articles were included for the final data synthesis. More than half of the ECIPASs (59%) were found incidentally. The female/male ratio was 1.33. ECIPAS is typically a single mono-/multi-lobular cystic lesions in the pancreatic tail with thickened cystic wall or various amount of solid component which had identical density/signal to the spleen on imaging examinations. The cyst is filled with serous or non-serous fluid. Recognition of the surrounding ectopic splenic tissue is the key point to diagnose ECIPAS. However, no preoperative examination was able to make a definite diagnosis. Almost all the patients (96%) received surgical treatment, due to the suspicion of pancreatic malignant or potentially malignant cystic tumor, especially mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN). CONCLUSIONS: Although seldom encountered, ECIPAS should be considered as a differential diagnosis for pancreatic cystic lesions, especially when solid component was detected. As a benign disease, unnecessary surgery should be avoided. Because it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis preoperatively by one single examination, multiple modalities may be required.

- The expression of death receptor systems TRAIL-R1/-R2/-R4, CD95 and TNF-R1 and their cognate ligands in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Histology and histopathology 2018 Oct;():18054

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30375637

The expression of five members of the TNF receptor superfamily and two of their ligands in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were investigated in parallel by immunohistochemistry. 41 patients with histologically confirmed ductal carcinoma of the pancreas were enrolled in this study in order (i) to compare the individual TNFR-SF expression and their ligands in PDAC-cells and (ii) to investigate their correlation with survival data. All patients had undergone pancreaticoduodenectomy and were staged as pT3N1M0. Immunostaining was done on FFPE tissue sections of the tumor tissue, using antibodies directed against TRAIL-Receptor-1, -2 and -4, TRAIL, CD95, TNF-Receptor-1 and TNF-α. The intensity and quantity of immunostaining were evaluated separately for tumor cell cytoplasm and tumor cell nucleus. Immunostaining results were correlated with each other and with patient survival. All proteins were found to be expressed in the majority of the tumor cells. The expression (i) of the following members of TNFR-SF and their ligands correlated with each other: TNF-Receptor-1 and TNFα (cytoplasmatic scores, p=0.001), TNF-Receptor 1 and TRAIL (nuclear antigen expression p=0.005 and the main score p=0.001, which contains the overall intracellular antigen expression), TNF-Receptor 1 and CD95 (main score, p=0.001), TRAIL-Receptor-1 and TRAIL-Receptor-2 (nuclear parameters, p=0.023), TRAIL-Receptor-4 and TRAIL (main score p=0.041). In addition (ii), high cytoplasmatic expression of TNF-Receptor-1 and a strong cytoplasmatic and nuclear expression of CD95 correlated significantly with a better prognosis of the PDAC patients.

- High nuclear Survivin expression as a poor prognostic marker in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Journal of surgical oncology 2018 Dec;118(7):1115-1121

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30261114

BACKGROUND: Survivin, one of the key regulators of mitosis and apoptosis, has long been well recognized to play important biological roles in many neoplasms, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, its prognostic value in PDAC remains controversial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Nuclear expression of Survivin was detected, using tissue microarray-based immunohistochemistry, in paired-tumor and nontumor samples from 306 patients with radically resected PDAC. The staining H scores were further correlated with clinicopathologic features and disease-specific survival (DSS). RESULTS: Nuclear Survivin expression was much higher in tumor than in nontumor tissues (P < 0.001). No significant association between tumoral Survivin expression and clinicopathologic variables was found. For prognosis, high Survivin expression was associated with shortened DSS in all eligible patients and four subgroups, that is, male and nondiabetic patients as well as those with head-located and G1-2 tumors, shown by univariate analyses. In addition, a statistically marginal significance was revealed in eight subgroups. For the entire cohort and two subgroups, nuclear Survivin expression was also multivariate identified as an independent predictor for DSS. For patients with G1-2 tumors, it was the single prognostic marker. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest an association between high nuclear Survivin expression and poor prognosis in PDAC. However, further confirmation might be necessary.

- Residual Tumor Index: A Prognostically Significant Pathologic Parameter in Neoadjuvant-treated Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

The American journal of surgical pathology 2018 Nov;42(11):1480-1487

PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30179901

In the setting of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) for pancreatic ductual adenocarcinoma (PDAC), accurate measurement of tumor size, and consequently, staging based on AJCC eighth edition, is difficult. Attempts to address the limitations of tumor size in the NAT setting have included correlation of residual tumor percent with survival. However, only cases with complete pathologic response or minimal residual disease have shown better prognosis compared with all other groups. To date, no studies have simultaneously evaluated the prognostic value of tumor size and tumor regression in the setting of PDAC status post NAT (NAT-PDAC). Our aim was to study the prognostic value of residual tumor index (RTI), a metric combining residual tumor percent and tumor bed size as an interaction term (% residual tumor×tumor bed size [cm]). In a cohort of 105 cases of NAT-PDAC, we show that RTI supersedes the prognostic value of AJCC eighth edition T staging via multivariate cox regression. At a binary cutoff of 0.35 for RTI, the hazard ratio for recurrence-free survival is 3.26 (95% confidence interval, 1.51-7.04), P<0.01. We further identified cutoffs of ≤0.2, 0.2 to 2 and >2 that stratified our cases into 3 groups via RTI, which were statistically significant in Kaplan-Meier curve analysis of recurrence-free survival (P<0.01) and overall survival (P<0.01). RTI represents a novel metric for combining the prognostic value of tumor size and residual tumor in NAT-PDAC.